The Chair of Tropical Forestry hosted the very first Section Meeting of International Forestry Research (Sektionstreffen Internationale Waldforschung) on 29 and 30 November 2019,. The section “International Forestry” itself is a unit in the umbrella organization Deutscher Verband Forstlicher Forschungsanstalten (DVFFA). Our chair holder Prof. Pretzsch acts as the chairman of the “International Forestry” Section.
Research concerning international and tropical forestry is conducted by various institutions in Germany, but the process of knowledge and experience exchange has not been optimized. To leverage the potential, the International Forestry Section seeks to advance collaboration in research projects and teaching as well as science-based policy briefs development.
One of the first activities during the meeting was to map out the three most important countries where the participants conduct their on-going research projects. This gave a clear picture of where each institution undertakes their research projects. The overview can ease future cooperation and coordination.
The participants were divided into smaller working groups to discuss more in depth about the most important issues in current research and teaching, which the plenary agreed to be issues concerning: forest production (water, soil, restoration), socio-economics, and knowledge exchange.
The course of the meeting has benefited significantly from inputs and expertise from diverse institutions in Germany, including Institute of Forest Management of TU Munich; Forest Inventory and Planning of HNE Eberswalde; Agribusiness/Faculty of Life Sciences of Hochschule Rhein-Waal; Tropical Silviculture and Forest Ecology and Forest Economics and Sustainable Land-use Planning of University of University of Göttingen; Chair of Forest Operations and Chair of Silviculture of University of Freiburg; Institute of Wood Science of University of Hamburg; Southeast Asia Department of University of Bonn; International Forestry and Forest Economics of Thünen Institute; as well as DLR Project Management Agency and consultants GFA Consulting Group and Care for Ecosystems.
An outcome of the meeting includes a Memorandum and the way forward of the section. The next meeting is planned to be held next year in Tharandt, where we can again make use of the first advent weekend in order to visit the Christmas market as a social activity. As master and doctoral students supporting the organization of this meeting, it has been a great opportunity to be able to network with leading scientists and be part of the discussion.
By Kendisha S. Hintz, Marcel Starfinger, Florian Thiem